Andrew Taylor

Crime and Historical Novelist

The Mortal Sickness


When a spinster of the parish is found bludgeoned to death in St John's, the finger of suspicion points at the new vicar, who is already beset with problems. Some parishioners disapprove of Alec Sutton's religious leanings; others disagree with his refusal to sell the church's most valuable possession, the Lydmouth chalice, to pay for urgent repairs. Someone is sending very nasty anonymous letters about him to prominent townsfolk. And now, along with the murder, the Lydmouth Chalice is missing..

The glare of the police investigation reveals shabby secrets and private griefs. Jill Francis, struggling to find her feet in her new life, stumbles into the case at the beginning. But even a journalist cannot always watch from the sidelines. Soon she is inextricably involved in the Sutton's affairs. Despite the electric antagonism between her and Inspector Richard Thornhill, she has instincts that she can't ignore.

"A notably uncosy novel... a fine, atmospheric thriller" The Mail on Sunday

"Admirable" New York Times Book Review

"Remarkable talent... he follows in the fine... tradition of Agatha Christie - but outshines her with his vivid characterisation. Wicked and wonderful." Yorkshire Post

"For fans of prime crime fiction." Daily Mail

"Andrew Taylor is becoming almost as versatile as Ruth Rendell as a writer about the darker side of human folly." Spectator